About ASAP

Growing Minds is a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food.

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USDA Farm to School Project

A combination of project activities will further develop regional supply chains to serve the needs of school districts in the region, develop and implement a promotional campaign in support of farm to school initiatives, and create a model Farm to School program that integrates local food in the cafeteria with experiential food and farm‐based education in classrooms.

At the end of the project period, the Farm to School market in the project region will be more developed (i.e., more schools will be able to source locally grown food), ASAP’s Appalachian Grown Get Local @ School promotional campaign will be more fully implemented at participating schools, and an educational model will emerge as an example to other schools in the region.

The program is working with Child Nutrition Directors in Haywood, Henderson, and Buncombe Counties. Mills River Elementary School in Henderson County will be saturated with Get Local @ School monthly materials and resources in order to model the program for other schools in the participating districts.

Mills River Elementary will receive ASAP’s Get Local @ School materials (recipe cards and “I tried…” stickers) each month to distribute to each student at the school. The school will receive bulletin board materials highlighting the product of the month for the school cafeteria. In addition to these materials the school will make every effort to incorporate other aspects of Farm to School into student education and the school environment, including:

  • Encouraging teachers to conduct Farm to School lesson plans in their classrooms.
  • Integration of a school garden as an outdoor classroom.
  • Field trips to local farms.
  • Taste tests in the school cafeteria.
  • Cooking in the classroom.

Support and training will be provided by ASAP for these activities. In addition, Mills River Elementary will be asked to provide a site for an ASAP Farm to School training for its teachers and any other interested Henderson County teachers at the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

View stories and photos from the USDA Farm to School project.



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